COVID-19 and Cruise Ship Travel

Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19

Key Points for Cruise Ship Travelers


  • CDC recommends that all people avoid travel on cruise ships, including river cruises, worldwide, because the risk of COVID-19 on cruise ships is very high. It is especially important that people with an increased risk of severe illness avoid travel on cruise ships, including river cruises.
  • Cruise passengers are at increased risk of person-to-person spread of infectious diseases, including COVID-19, and outbreaks of COVID-19 have been reported on cruise ships.
  • Passengers who decide to go on a cruise should get tested 3-5 days after your trip AND stay home for 7 days after travel. Even if you test negative, stay home for the full 7 days.
  • If you don't get tested, it's safest to stay home for 14 days after you travel.  

What is the current situation?

On October 30, 2020, CDC issued a Framework for Conditional Sailing Order for cruise ships operating or seeking to operate in U.S. waters. This Order introduces a phased approach for resuming passenger cruises. Passenger operations continue to be suspended during the initial phases of this Order. The initial phase requires crew screening to determine the prevalence of COVID-19 among all crew members currently on cruise ships in U.S. waters.

At this time, CDC still recommends avoiding any travel on cruise ships, including river cruises, worldwide, because the risk of COVID-19 on cruise ships is very high. It is especially important that people with an increased risk of severe illness avoid travel on cruise ships, including river cruises.

Cruise passengers are at increased risk of person-to-person spread of infectious diseases, including COVID-19, and outbreaks of COVID-19 have been reported on cruise ships.

What can travelers do to protect themselves and others?

CDC recommends that travelers avoid cruise travel worldwide. For most travelers, cruise ship travel is voluntary and should be rescheduled for a future date. If you do go on a cruise during the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Do not board a cruise if you are sick, if you know you have COVID-19, or if you were exposed to a person with COVID-19 in the past 14 days.
  • Discuss cruise ship travel with your healthcare provider. Older adults and people of any age with underlying medical conditions are at increased risk of severe illness if infected with the virus that causes COVID-19.
  • Stay at least 6 feet/2 meters (about 2 arm lengths) from anyone who is not traveling with you. It’s important to do this everywhere—both indoors and outdoors.
  • Wear a mask to keep your nose and mouth covered when you are in shared spaces, including when using public transportation.
  • Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol).
  • Avoid contact with anyone who is sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Do not travel if you are sick.
  • If you get sick with symptoms of COVID-19, stay in your cabin and notify the onboard medical center immediately.

Passengers who decide to travel are advised to take the following precautions to protect others for 14 days after their return from a cruise ship or river cruise voyage:

  • Get tested 3–5 days after your trip AND stay home for 7 days after travel.
    • Even if you test negative, stay home for the full 7 days.
    • If your test is positive, isolate yourself to protect others from getting infected.
  • If you don't get tested, it's safest to stay home for 14 days after travel.
  • Avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness for 14 days, whether you get tested or not.
  • Always follow state and local recommendations or requirements related to travel.

For additional information

 

This notice was originally posted March 17, 2020.